Ok so Totally lost! I'm not quite sure if this is where this thread belongs, I've searched and couldn't find any forums for live sound, but was wondering whether this goes under recording *shrugs*

OK so real question is that I have no idea how to build/arrange a rack, or what the hell goes into one to begin with... Basically I'm a noob in the Live Sound department, and need help understanding.
What kind of setup are you looking for? Are you going to use a rackmount bass amplifier head, or a rackmount preamp and separate power amplifier? What else are you looking to put in your rack? A compressor? A power conditioner? A multi-effects unit? You need to figure out what it is you plan to incorporate before you can set it up. And knowing this in advance will tell you how many rack spaces you will need in your rack.
You don't even know what you want so I daresay you don't need a rack. At least I know what I want in mine.
2 different strategyies to start out with

using a rackmount head unit that has preamp and power amp built in.


finding a preamp you really like and then add a PA style power amp of however much wattage you need.

the benifits of going option number 2 is that you can get biamp power for cheaper. and as far as tone it just depends on what sound you are after and what preamp you pick.

here are some preamps options to get you started

BBE Bmax (they make solid state and tube version the tube version is better but if you cant afford it the solid state still sounds nice)

rocktron blue thunder (heard mix reviews about this but i think the general consensus is that it works better as a post effects then as a stand alone unit)

sansamp RBI (different opinions on this preamp too some people love it as a stand alone unit others like me think that by itself it is lacking something but can sound amazing when in the effects loop of a different preamp)

one other option is that if you like ampeg SVT sound then you can find a used Ampeg SVT p-pro tube preamp (they dont make them anymore but when they did they were over a thousand dollars new) thats the route i went because i love the ampeg sound it is the exact same preamp that comes on the ampeg SVT3 and SVT4 only without the power amp attatched or any effects.

just try as many different preamps as you can or find one with as many features as you want. i chose the SVT because i wanted tubes and a graphic eq and im a bit of an ampeg fanboi but you can't argue with 7 preamp tubes lol.

once you find a preamp then look for a power amp QSC and Crown are considered top of the line but dont rule out other brands like nady, peavy,yamaha. just stay away from behringer. normally i dont have a problem with there other stuff like mixers and guitar amps but their pa power amps suck big time.

LOOK AT THE RMS POWER OUTPUT NOT THE PEAK. say you have 2 cabs that handle 500watts each then look for a power amp that does anywhere from 450-600 RMS

other power amp features you might look for are low pass and low cut featurs

add a furmann power conditioner and you basicly have a rack.

a rack setup is all about customization and personalization and its also mostly about tone because rack mount equipment is generally thought to be superior to it's stompbox versions. but nobody really can tell you what to put in your rig becasue the "ultimate" setup is just bassed on your wants and needs.

some good ideas to add tho are

graphic eq (if your preamp doesent have one already or even if it already does and your just a total tone freek)

also another advantage of a rack setup is that if you want to add more speaker cabs you dont have to buy a whole new amp you just have to buy a power amp for it and your set ...

again rack setups are all about practicality, and customization if you dont need it dont buy it.
ESP B-405,Fender American Jazz Bass(EMG J active pups and LEO QUAN BADASS II ) squire P bass(EMG P active Pups)),
SansAmp Bass driver DI
Ampeg SvP PRO Tube Preamp
QSC2450 Power amp
Furman PL8